Sunday, June 18, 2023

Several Thoughts on Las Vegas After Spending a Week There

I recently wrote a two-part trip report from my trip to Las Vegas on June 5-12, 2023. Besides the information in the reports, there were also some other impressions I wish to share which were not included in the reports.

Hotel rooms
I stayed in four different hotels this trip. My update on what they are like.
Harrah's: One of the low-end Caesars properties. I stayed in the Mountain Tower. A great job has been done in refurbishing and redecorating these hallways and rooms. However, the room registration process is still a pain. Lines are often long at the key times, and if you want to get in before 4:00pm, prepare to be offered a ridiculous price for that privilege. The casino itself is smoky and crowded, and for those of us who are not Platinum and above, we pay for parking or we find creative ways to get around it.
Excalibur: I hate when people call it the "dirty castle" or other derogatory terms. It is MUCH better than it was several years ago, especially if you stay in one of the Stay Well rooms. The rooms are okay, and there are several inexpensive eating places on the premises. The Mexican cafe just out side the Resort Tower serves decent food, and late night options include Johnny Rockets and Krispy Kreme. I do have an MGM credit card, so parking is free for me here. It tends to be my fallback place to stay.
South Point: My first time staying here. There are many advantages that outweigh staying on the Strip -- as long as you have a car! The rooms are nice size and the floors are laminate, not carpet. There was a Keurig coffee pot with free pods! The buffet is still relatively cheap with decent food, there are several nice restaurants (although I have yet to eat at any), and the Coronado Cafe is great, especially its midnight specials. I've yet to use some of the other amenities -- bowling alley, pool, etc. In the times I've stayed, it was not unusual to see either a big rodeo crowd here or lots of teens due to some type of competition being held at the resort. Of course, I haven't even mentioned the poker room that has good action and promotions.
Golden Nugget: First time staying here also. I have stayed downtown two nights at 4 Queens, but that is it for me downtown. The Nugget was a great place to stay! Excellent room slightly big in Carson Tower, a wonderful pool if you want to fight the summer crowds, numerous restaurants inside the hotel or within quick walking distance on Fremont, and a poker room with great action and a monster bad beat jackpot. Parking in the garage is included with your room -- something the Caesars and MGM Strip hotels should include in their ripoff resort fees.

Construction traffic
One of the most problematic issues for anyone staying in Las Vegas, especially for any of the ongoing poker series, is the construction sites that are preparing for this fall's Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. I first ran into it when getting into town and going from I-15 to Harrah's around 4:30 to 5:00pm. Most of the drivers were calm and courteous and, despote the wait, things were not too terrible except for the people making turns who clogged up the intersections when the traffic lights changed. Morons. Oh, that and the pedestrians who continually cross the Strip and side roads/entrances to casinos against the walk/don't walk signs, thinking they won't get hit. It is amazing that more pedestriams don't get hit.
I experienced the Koval construction when driving from Venetian to MGM (thanks Google Maps?) at night. This one was frustrating as things moved very slowly.
I had few other issues on I-15, although there were some slowdowns. 

If you are going to be visiting Las Vegas in the near future, be advised to check on where the construction areas are before you go. It will be worth your time. When in Las Vegas, avaoid them as much as possible, especially outside of the late night and early morning hours when there is less traffic.

I only played in one small event, a weekly seniors deep stack. However, I did heed the advice and registered in person for mine the morning of -- at 12;30am. No line. Paid in cashola, so no extra fees. In and out quickly. Meanwhile, there was quite a long line of people waiting to register right before the tournament at the Horseshoe tournament site. Oh well.

The poker tables were okay, but the chair I sat in was a "banquet chair" -- a few steps up from folding chairs, but still lacking comfort. I know that this kind of seating causes problems for people with special seating needs. We were seated ten to a table, so things were a bit tight.

One legitimate issue at my tournament: Two denominations of the chips looked similar ($5,000 and $1,000 I think -- both yellow or yellowish. Adding to this was a dealer who had a heavy accent and was also wearing a mask. A guy sitting in seat 8 (who admittedly has hearing issues) was sitting at a bad angle and misheard the dealer. I imagine you can always blame the player for not clarifying, but he did attempt to do the and did not heard the muffled, accent-heavy answer. He had the floor come over, but there was little the floor could do except say that what happened stood.

Poker Wait Lists
Wait lists near the middle of the Strip got to be ridiculous at times. Both Horseshoe and Caesars tended to have long lists, but if you are not Diamond or about, you get to watch those at the higher levels move to the top of the wait lists. During non-WSOP times this is generally not a problem, but it certainly is during WSOP. Wait list were also enormous at Bellagio and Aria, this making Venetian, Wynn, Resorts, and MGM better Strip choices for many of us.

Good luck if you will be playing and of the WSOP or other tournament series going on this summer. Of course, may run good also follow you in the cash games!

Thanks for reading. 😀


Anonymous Mrs L said...

I’m staying at Harrah’s in a couple weeks. I stayed there in Dec. and I think my room had a weird half shower door that let water escape and made it chilly while hosing down. Did your room have that? I’m going to ask for a regular shower or tub because it was super annoying.

4:47 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

I only had the Harrah's room for one night when I added it on at the beginning of my trip. I don't remember anything different about the room. I do appreciate that the hallways especially look much better. I had been in some really crappy rooms there in the past, but I think they are all redecorated. It remains a great location for poker, and one of my favorite places on the Strip is the Denny's down the street between Casino Royale and Venetian. I imagine you'll be spending time at the non-NL games at Resorts?
I'm tentatively planning on returning June 28 - July 4.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. l said...

Yes, and also probably the triple draw mix tourney at the Orleans on the 3rd and the O8 tourney at South Point on the 4th.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Tony Bigcharles said...

out of all those different hotels u should mention if any of those rooms had a fridge or microwave

3:20 AM  
Blogger Iron Mike Sharpe said...

You didn't mention if any of the casinos had the good Dealers Angels VBJ machines or massages for $1/min instead of the $2/min ripoff rate. Also can you find out the pay tables for all of the $1 VP machines And which poker rooms have $1/2 Big O.

9:52 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

I think that it is now official: You are now christened IMSBC.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed reading your Blog. Wish you could post this stuff on Cardschat. I'm planning on making a trip to Vegas next year to play WSOP & am enjoying reading your Blog to find out more about it (I've been once but it was a short trip & I wasn't able to venture out much... this time I would like to go for 2weeks+) PokerOrifice

3:07 AM  

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